... for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?—Canticles 1.7.
The Lord’s Trumpet
Sounding an Alarm against Scotland.
By Warning of a Bloody/span> Sword:
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Being the Substance of
A Preface and Two Prophetical Sermons
Preached at Glenluce, Anno 1682.
By that Great Scots Prophet,
Mr. Alexander Peden.
ALEXANDER PEDEN * was born about the year 1626, at Sorn, in Ayrshire. After undergoing a course of education at the Universities, he became schoolmaster at Tarbolton, where Guthrie was then minister. He was also precentor and clerk of session to the same church.
On becoming a minister, he was appointed about 1658 to the charge of New Luce, in Galloway. The Restoration of 1660, followed by the persecuting acts of the sovereign, led to Peden's departure from that parish. Very solemn and impressive were the services conducted by him in the church the Sabbath before his expulsion. The themes of discourse were taken from Paul's moving address to the elders of the Church at Ephesus. As he left the pulpit, he closed the door, and knocking three times hard upon it, thrice repeated these words: "I arrest thee, in my Master's name, that none ever enter thee but such as come in by the door, as I have done." Strange to say, none of the curates ever entered that pulpit. After the Revolution, a Presbyterian minister opened it and preached to a large congregation.
The life of Peden became henceforth the life of a wanderer. In 1666 a proclamation was issued against him by the Council, because he had held conventicles and administered baptism. Should he refuse to obey, he was to be declared to be a rebel and to have forfeited his life. He succeeded till 1673 in evading the grasp of his persecutors, having retired for a part of that interval to Ireland. In this year he was arrested, taken prisoner to Edinburgh, examined, and then sent for confinement to the Bass. Five years later sentence of banishment was pronounced against him. With nearly a hundred others, he was to be sent to America, and he was not to return to Scotland again upon pain of death. But God turned the counsels of the enemy to foolishness. At Gravesend, all the prisoners were liberated, and they at once returned to their native land.
Soon after the battle of Bothwell Bridge, Peden went again to Ireland, being sore oppressed at that disastrous event. In 1682 he returned to Scotland, but before the end of that year, for the sake of safety, he returned once more to Ireland. Under various disguises he procured the means of subsistence, on one occasion hiring himself as a servant and working at manual toil. In 1685 he came back to Scotland, evidently desirous of sharing in the honourable sufferings of the persecuted remnant there. As the vessel on which he and others were carried lay at rest on the waters, Peden thus prayed: "Lord, give us a loof-full of wind; fill the sails, Lord, and give us a fresh gale, and let us have a swift and safe passage over to the bloody land, come of us what will." The winds came while he prayed, filled the sails, and sped the vessel onward to the haven. As he parted from his fellow-passengers on landing, he said: "My soul trembles to think what will become of the indulged, backslidden, and upset ministers of Scotland: as the Lord lives, none of them shall be honoured to put a right pin in the Lord's tabernacle, or assert Christ's kingly prerogative as Head and King of His Church."
At this time he met with many remarkable deliverances from the very hands of the enemy. Several horse and foot came once close to him and a number of companions in tribulation. A slight elevation of ground coming in the course of the pursuit between them and their pursuers, Peden called a halt, and uttered this memorable prayer, "Lord, it is Thy enemy's day, hour, and power they may not be idle, but hast Thou no other work for them but to send them after us? send them after them to whom Thou wilt give strength to flee, for our strength is gone. Twine them about the hill, Lord, and cast the lap of Thy cloak over Old Sandy and these poor things, and save us this one time, and we will keep it in remembrance, and tell it to the commendation of Thy goodness, pity, and compassion, what Thou didst for us at such a time." A mist covered the hill, and Peden and his friends were safe.
As the end of his earthly pilgrimage drew on, Peden betook himself to his native parish of Sorn - to a near relative who lived there, but still he could not frequent his friend's house, and for safety he had a cave dug for himself, and a bush placed as a covering for the cave's mouth. There did this weird sufferer spend many hours of close communion with God. That cave was the House of God and the Gate of Heaven. It was when here that he left his last charges with his friends regarding the cause of Christ in the land. He also desired them to carry his body to Ayrsmoss, and lay it to rest beside the dust of Richard Cameron.
Some time before his death, Peden had an interesting interview with James Renwick. Some misrepresentations regarding the latter had been too readily believed by Peden, and had led to much alienation of feeling. Before Peden passed away, the cloud was to be lifted. In the course of a visit paid to Peden at his own request, the whole matter was made subject of conversation. The light broke forth as the morning. "Ere you go," said Peden at the close of the interview, "you must pray for me, for I am old, and going to leave the world." After prayer, Peden drew Renwick near to him and kissed him, and said, "Sir, I find you a faithful servant to your Master. Go on in a single dependence upon the Lord, and ye will get honestly through, and clear off the stage, when many others who hold their heads high will be in the mire, and make foul hands and garments." And these words were followed by a fervent prayer, such as Peden alone could pray, that the God of Jacob would be Renwick's defence, a covering for his head in the day of battle. A few days afterwards and this tempest-tossed saint cast anchor in the haven of rest eternal.
Thwarted in their efforts to apprehend him when alive, his enemies could not forbear offering indignities to his lifeless body. After it was buried forty days, a troop of dragoons disinterred it, intending to hang it up in chains upon the gallows at Cumnock. This not being permitted, they buried the body at the foot of the gallows, where it awaits the trumpet-call of the Judgment day when all wrongs shall be righted, and justice shall have dominion for ever. "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father."
THERE are many of you gathered here this day. Ye have need to examine wherefore ye came here. It is long since it hath been our desire to God to have you taken off our hand, and now He is about to grant us our desire. There are four or five things that I have to tell you this day. And the
1st, Is this, A bloody sword, a bloody sword, a bloody sword for thee, O Scotland, that shall reach the most part of you to the heart.
2ndly, Many a mile shall they travel in thee, O Scotland, and see nothing but waste places.
3rdly, The fertilest places in thee, O Scotland, shall be as the mountain tops.
4thly, The woman with child in thee, O Scotland, shall be dashed in pieces. And
5thly, There hath been many a conventicle in thee, O Scotland, but ere long God shall have a conventicle in thee that shall make thee tremble. Many a sermon hath God bestowed upon thee, O Scotland, but ere long God's judgments shall be as frequent as these precious meetings have been wherein He sent forth His faithful servants to give warning in His name of their hazard in apostatizing from God, and in breaking all these noble vows which He brought the land under unto Himself. God sent out a Welch, a Semple, a Cameron, and a Cargill to preach to thee, O Scotland, but ere long God shall preach unto thee by a bloody sword; for God shall not let a sentence of these men's words fall to the ground that He sent out, and commissioned to preach these things in His name - I say, God shall not let a sentence of these men's words fall to the ground, but they shall have their due accomplishment ere it be long.
"But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir, come, let us kill Him, and let us seize on his inheritance."—Matthew 21.38.
THIS that I have read unto you is Scotland's sin. This day, if our king and nobles had our Lord Jesus Christ amongst them at Edinburgh, what would they do with Him? They would even give Him a gibbet, or worse, if they could devise it. For which He shall deal with them ere long, with our king, nobles, and a part of unfaithful ministers that He will take vengeance on ere long, as well as on prelates and malignants. All shall go together ere it be long. Now
In the next place, there is fruit called for from these husbandmen. Ye will say, "What fruit is this?" Ye see it is fruit in season. This fruit is called for in thee, O Scotland, this day. This fruit, Sirs, is not such fruit as ye pay your rents with, as corn, hay, or the like, that your hearts love well. No, Sirs, it is fruit in season. I will tell you, Sirs, the duties that God would have taken off your hand thirty or forty years ago in Scotland, whether preaching, or praying, or any other spiritual duty, He will not take off your hand today in Scotland I say He will not take off your hand nor mine either, now when so much of the saints' blood hath gone to seal these truths which we are all bound to own in Scotland, and in all these covenanted lands.
Now, O ye people of God in Scotland, there are some of you looking me in the face today. I appeal to your consciences whether this be true or not? Well, what fruit is this that is called for? Why, it is faith and repentance, love to God, and obedience to His revealed will, which many of you, yea, the most part of you, are as great strangers to as if ye had never heard the everlasting gospel preached unto you. Now, people of God, what are you doing when such dreadful wrath is at hand in Scotland this day? He is not worth his room in Scotland this day, that prays not the half of his time to see if he can prevent the dreadful wrath that is at the door coming on our poor motherland. O Sirs, ye must pray ploughing, harrowing, shearing, and at all your other labour, yea, when ye are eating and drinking, going out and coming in, and at all your other employments. For there was never more need of them than now. Oh, that noble life we must have of communion with God! O Sirs, it is He that makes heaven pleasant! It is communion with God that makes heaven. Will ye long to be there, O people of God!
Now, the words of the text declare that He would have fruit from you in this country-side, and from thee, O Glenluce. He sent thee first a crumb, and then He sent thee many a faithful turn of His servants while they were on the mountains. Now, He hath sent me unto thee this day to bid thee pay Him His fruit, and little has He gotten from thee, O Glenluce, for which He shall make many waste places in thee, O Scotland. But I will tell you what is for you, persecuted sufferers. Crowns, crowns of glory ye shall wear ere long, and a remnant of you shall be preserved in all these sad days that are coming on thee, O Britain and Ireland.
Now, Sirs, I have news to tell you. There are many of you had need go be making your testament, for some of you will not have long time to live in the world. Peace with God will be a good testament ere long, Sirs, for Scotland shall be drowned in blood. And then in that fearful day of wrath that is coming on these harlot apostate lands for treachery and covenant-breaking with God, the testimony of a good conscience will be a good feast when a bloody sword may be at your breast. Then peace with God will help to make a good testament in that day. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord." What kind of holiness is this, Sirs? I will tell you what it is. It is not such a measure of holiness as Abraham, Moses, David, or any of those great worthies had. No, poor folk, God will take less off your hand. It is holiness in design that is the thing that God will approve of from you. It is not the stock of grace that ye have received that will do your turn, but it is the thing ye have the expectation of and are longing for. Ye may want many things, but ye may not want holiness. Friends, ye may be blind, lame, dumb, poor, and contemptible in the world, and want many things, and yet come to heaven; but if ye want holiness, ye shall never come there. Therefore take heed of these things I entreat you in such a day as this.
Now, Sirs, there are many of you come here today out of different places; and ye are all come here, professing to be worshippers of the living God, and believing folk. But I am now to lay by five or six sorts of folk that are in reality but dead folk. And
1. They are dead folk that are ignorant of the saving way and device of salvation through the covenant of redemption made betwixt the Father and the Son from all eternity. Ye are all dead folk that are such. Ye are all ignorant of the case of the work of God in Scotland; ye are all dead folk. And I had rather have one of yonder sufferers, that is bred at Christ's school in and through Clydesdale, than have an hundred of you to join with me. For ye have no weight with God, no grace; ye are not scholars at Christ's school, and therefore ye are but dead folk A
2. Sort of dead folk are ye who are fair blossoming professors, but inwardly ye are as whited tombs, and are as rotten as dead graves, and have nothing but a profession, and know not what the work of regeneration is. You are but dead folk, and we must here lay you by. A
3. Sort of dead folk are you who are plunging in the world. Ye have no God but the world, and that bears most sway in your hearts. Ye are but dead folk, Sirs, and we must lay you by. If any would reprove you for your worldly-mindedness and excessive covetousness, "Oh," say ye, "we must labour for our living. Would ye have us let our handy labour alone?" But, O worldly miser and fool that thou art, hath not Christ said, "Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and the righteousness thereof, and all other things shall be added unto you." O Sirs, will ye trust God and give Him credit? and He will help you at all your work. Friends, if you would own that covenant with Him, and make Him your own, I will tell you what He would do for you; He would plow your land, sow your corn, shear your corn, sell your corn, and bring home your money. I will tell you, friends, what He will do; He will even, as it were, rock the cradle, if it were necessary for you. He will condescend as low as ye desire Him, but ye must once close with Him, and that upon His own terms, and make a surrender of your hearts unto Him. A
4. Sort, that we must lay by as dead folk, are your graceless and profane folk, both old and young. Ye abuse your time that ye should serve God in. Ye meet together, housefuls of you, dancing and leaping through one another, young men and young women of you, with your graceless wanton mirth, and your lusts burning strong within you; and ye think that ye have liberty to do this. Ye will be angry if we call you adulterers or fornicators. But God will account you such, and if ye get not repentance ye are really serving the devil in your lusts, in these sinful courses. O Sirs, is this a time for such a work when God is threatening to lay poor Scotland waste and desolate? Ye should rather be mourning and crying to God for shelter in such a dreadful storm, and sad days He is about to bring on these apostate, backsliding, covenant-breaking lands. A
5. Sort of dead folk are you that have gone with the storm, and have still complied, and given your consent to the banishing Christ out of poor Scotland by your testing and bonding against Him. What are ye doing, Sirs? If He marvelously prevent it not, I fear black Popery ere it be long will come. The Pope is coming back to seek his pawn that he left in Scotland long ago, and ye are helping him well to it. I will tell you more of it, Sirs. If the Lord had not gotten three or four sacrifices of the blood of the saints in Scotland, we had all been bowing to stocks and stones this day, and to black idolatry. At Pentland, Bothwell, and Ayrsmoss the blood of the saints hath run in through and out through, giving a testimony against all the usurpations that have been made upon Christ's crown in Scotland, a circumstance which speaks good news to us this day and to the posterity following. The generations that are yet to arise shall partake of the benefits of the poor suffering remnant in Scotland.
Now old folk What are ye doing? I fear the storm will lay you by. And ye young folkWhat are ye doing? Will ye venture life and fortune to close with Christ, young men and young women in Scotland? And I will tell you news of it, as to the young men and women who have followed Him in Scotland in the stormy blast, and have laid down their lives for Him. Your eyes shall see them on thrones, and crowns on their heads, and clothed with robes of glory, having harps and palms in their hands. And ye that are young folk in this country-side, if He call you to it, if ye will venture to follow Him in this storm and abide by His back, and stick by His persecuted truths in Scotland this day, He shall set you on thrones, and ye shall give in your judgment and sentence with Him, when He shall judge the bloody king, bloody council and parliament, and the bloody Duke of York, and our profane wicked nobles and gentlemen, and graceless ministers in Scotland, who are all dyed with the blood of the saints. Oh, my heart trembles within me to think what is coming on the backsliding and soul-murdering ministers of Scotland! The children of the saints that shall outlive the captivity, in the days that are coming, shall be ready to meet such ministers, and stone them. "Thou shalt not live, for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord." Therefore take heed what ye are doing, for there are as sad days coming as ever were in these lands, namely in thee, apostate Scotland, for thy perjury and apostacy. We have all cause to be afraid that God is about to transmit His vineyard to another nation, to better husbandmen who will give Him His fruit better than we in Scotland have done.
Now, ye that are the people of God, I know ye will think this hard news; but yet I have this to tell you, that although we have provoked Him to remove His candlestick to another land, and He is threatening to do so for a while, yet though there be wrath in His face there is love in His heart, and He will return to thee, O Scotland; and there shall be as glorious days in thee, O Scotland, as ever was in the world, in spite of all the adversaries, both king, council, and parliament, and profane malignants and prelates yea, and all the defections of the people of God shall not keep Him away from making a visit to His poor persecuted friends in Scotland. A
6. Sort of dead folk are you that want heart-holiness. Although ye have a profession, yet ye are but light, wanton professors, unconcerned about the case of the time. I fear the devil is in possession of many of you, boiling in your hearts' lusts and idols. Well, Sirs, all the ministers in the world cannot help you in this case. It must be Christ Himself that must do it, as He did to Mary Magdalene. For the devil is as really in many of you as he was in her. But I fear Christ hath quitted many of you, and given you your farewell clap upon your heart, that He is likely to reprove you no more until He make His fury rest upon you.
But, however, I have this to say, and remember that I have said it: Ye that want heart holiness, the devil and you shall come alike soon to heaven. If God be in heaven, ye shall find this true that I have said unto you. But I know not what I have to do amongst you this day, for I can do no good amongst you. It seems the gospel is a sealed book to the most part of professors in these lands, and in this generation. Ye were all perjured, in the beginning, with complying with Prelacy and hearing those cursed curates, after ye had covenanted with God and sworn and engaged yourselves in that covenanted work of reformation. As long as ye mourn not for that sin, as much as for adultery, whoredom, murder, stealing, &c., the gospel will never do you any good. I charge you to believe this, and ye shall know that the Lord hath sent me to tell you these things in that day when God shall summon you before His tribunal; and I leave these things upon you.
But as for you, the sufferers in Scotland that God hath made choice of to give testimony for Him, the poor young men and women that have suffered for Him, and that He hath taken out to scaffolds, your condition is, "A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." The sufferers in Scotland have got the world under their feet this day. If He charges any of you in this country-side to go out and suffer for Him, deny Him not. He hath taken few out of Carrick or Galloway yet; but we know not what He will do. Now, people of God, wait on patiently, and make conscience of dealing with Him, for I have news to tell you. He will stretch out His hand on all the malignants ere long. Yea, He will cut off the remnant of them out of Scotland ere long, although they have said, as in the words of our text, "This is the heir: come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance." And if they had our Lord in Scotland this day they would certainly do so with Him. But I will tell you, God will cut off the posterity of them that are the greatest enemies to our Lord, and their children shall wander begging their bread, being destitute, not having anything to cover their nakedness. And this shall be their punishment: our Lord shall not only overthrow them for the wrongs they have done Him; but He shall set a mark of displeasure upon their posterity, and generations to come shall hate them. But for you, the poor, broken-hearted followers of Christ to whom He hath given grace to follow Him in the storm, I tell you grace is young glory. At your first conversion our Lord gives you the one end of the line, but He keeps the other end in glory with Himself. But, Sirs, He will have you all there at length.
And now, I charge you not to meddle with any of these bonds or tests, for they will wrong you. It is the mark of the beast. The Scripture saith, "That they that worship the beast, and receive his mark in their foreheads, or in their right hand, must have their portion in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone." And now I charge you to take counsel of neither minister nor professor, noblemen nor gentlemen, for they will counsel you all the wrong way. The blood of many a soul in Scotland will be charged upon them. For now our cursed nobles and gentry, yea, many ministers and professors, are come that length in apostasy that they will scare at nothing; they are all given up of God. Know what is said: "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse." While they are going on in their apostasy from and against God, the martyrs are going off the scaffolds singing, rejoicing, and praising God, going to glory, leaving a testimony against all their wicked steps of defection by shedding their innocent blood, and leaving these lands in a sad case this day. Now, when wrath is so near, I pray you, take notice what ye are doing; for, ere it be long, Britain and Ireland shall be overthrown with judgment, and drenched in blood, and we shall be gathered together like a flock of sheep on a hillside in a stormy night, and shall be overthrown with the wrath of God that shall overthrow these lands for the dreadful wrongs Christ has gotten among us. And now I give you faithful warning. If ye perish, your blood shall be upon your own head, I assure you. Ye shall be made an Aceldama, a field of blood; and then two storms shall be upon you at one and the same time:
1. The wrath of God to cut you off.
2. An awakened conscience within you, and a bloody sword to take away your life. I trow, these shall be sore to abide. And now, O backsliding professors of Scotland, take heed how you have your graces in exercise. Look that ye fail not of the grace of God in this sad day, and remember that a stock of grace will not do your turn. I trow, few of you have that itself, therefore, take heed what ye are doing. For it is no small measure of wrath that is upon poor Scotland at this day, and all these lands. I will tell you, Sirs, ye had need to take heed to your doings in such an hour of temptation, when so many professors are going along with the storm; for there is nothing but divine immediate support out of heaven will hold you up in a stormy blast. A Christian that hath been a standing Christian these forty years, in an hour's time of a fiery trial, may be laid on his back and made to deny Christ. And this may make us all tremble, and be humbled before the Lord. God save you from a sudden surprising temptation of which there are many in our day in Scotland. But to the poor broken-hearted believer that resolves in His name, and by His strength, to stand through the storm, I have news to tell you. Christ is as much bound to hold you up, so to speak, as ye are bound to suffer for Him, when ye are called unto it. All those who have given a testimony for Christ these one-and-twenty years are a large proof of it. All of them, young and old, have been wonderfully held up to the admiration of all on-lookers and themselves; yea, unto the conviction of some of the persecutors themselves. All of them shall be witness against you who have flinched from the truth, or shall flinch from it, and these shall be an eternal standing witness against you. Yea, I will tell you, that are more wicked and unconcerned persons, there is not a drop of the saints' blood which hath been shed in Scotland in these sad days of Zion's trouble, persecution and calamity, but it shall be required of your hand. Ye are the murderers of the saints. I trow, there are many such in Scotland at this day, both men and women, and rotten and unconcerned ministers and professors, that God will sweep away in His anger, as well as a profane wicked king, wicked nobles, profane court folk, Church-men, and profane wicked prelates, and all their underlings. God shall make a fair riddance of them. May the Lord hasten it in His own due time!
But I will tell you, Sirs, the Lord's return unto this land will be very terrible. The godly shall fall amongst the wicked, for our perjury and false dealing with Him in His covenant. Therefore, make ready for it, for I will give you fair warning this day. I pray you, take the alarm. I leave this upon you, old folk that are going over the brae and precipice dropping into eternity, and know not where ye will take up your eternal lodgingoh, dreadful!what will become of you, dying and unreconciled with God. Remember these forecited words, "Without holiness none shall see the Lord."
But yet, poor broken-hearted believers, as I said unto you before, it is not such a measure of holiness as that of Enoch, of Abraham, of Moses, of David, or any of these worthies that God seeks from you. It is holiness in design, and to close with the device of salvation in the gospel. And now take heed that you double your diligence, and fail not of the grace of God in this hour of darkness that is come, and is further to come upon Scotland! For it is a very sad and dreadful foretoken from God, that at this juncture of time He hath blown out almost all the lights in Scotland. Now I leave it on you to mind the prisoners in Scotland this day in all the prisons of Scotland, as ye will answer in the great day for it, and take a hearty lift with them in the time of their distress.
And now ye young folk, I leave it on you to make conscience of closing with Him. Say ye, "We are but young, and have time enough to repent." But I will tell you, the Lord needs no other rod to chastise you with, but to let you live thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, or seventy years in the world, and then if ye remain ignorant, He will cast you into hell. Therefore take heed unto yourselves. And now, Sirs, the Lord hastens to come, and He hath been crying unto you in these lands, and mainly to thee, up-sitten Scotland, to watch with Him one hour, in His suffering and temptations, but ye have not done it, for which thou, O Scotland, shalt be made the butt of His wrath ere all be done; but the two other lukewarm indifferent lands shall not escape, but shall drink off the dregs of the cup of His anger. But indeed the blood of the persecuted remnant, that hath been shed for a testimony against defection, speaks best to thee, O Scotland. A remnant of these shall escape, and shall be monuments of His mercy, in all the floods of His wrath that is coming on these landsyea, a remnant in the other two lukewarm lands, that have been sympathizing with His broken work, shall escape; but I fear that the number shall be few.
And now, Sirs, I leave these things upon you. And I have this sad word further to tell you: that to a faithful minister about thirty years ago a whole congregation was not so weighty as one professor is at this day. I fear the Lord hath said, "Pray not for this people, and those that are for the sword to the sword, and those that are for famine to the famine." And God shall be avenged on these apostate lands, and particularly on thee, harlot Scotland. From the king to the beggar none shall escape; and therefore, O people of God, "enter into your chambers," for I fear there shall be no shelter ere it be long. I will tell you more, Sirs. I fear, ere the storm be over, the day is coming on these lands that a bloody scaffold will be thought a good shelter; therefore ye who are the people of God believe these things, and lay them to heart, for ye shall meet with them ere all be done. And now, people of God, I have this to tell you likewise: ye should all mourn for this, that the enemies of God in Scotland had never got us broken as they have done, if they had not ploughed with our heifer. They have broken the Church of God in Scotland, and destroyed us all by this sinful and idolatrous indulgence. But I tell you that for all the craft that they have learned from their master, the devil, to draw so many ministers and professors after them for a sinful shelter, God shall sweep them away in a deluge of His wrath that is at the door; it shall sweep away both friends and foes. And I tell you our Lord shall break them by yoking their own ploughfor well can He do itin Scotland ere long. He will break and ruin them so utterly that the remnant of Baal shall be hateful to be named yet in Scotland or in any of these landsI mean, idolatries, and all Romish wares be swept away with the blood of the saints that hath been shed and is to be shed in Scotland, and in these covenanted lands, ere the storm go over, and before the Lord have done with us, and namely in thee, apostate Scotland.
But yet glorious shall be the days that shall be in thee, O Scotland, in despite of devils and wicked menyea, in spite of all the defections and backslidings of the backslidden people of God. They shall not be able to hinder it when the Lord shall return. And, therefore, people of God, I charge you to believe it, for it will help you to hold up your fainting hearts in this sad storm that ye have to go through.
And now, Sirs, I know it is neither right nor lawful for any minister or Christian in Scotland to join with others in taking houses to preach in, and to leave the fields. It were better for us all, Sirs, to go to the field in frost and snow to the knees, until we were wet to the skin, ere we bow to king, council, or one of them; for I know that the Lord will never bless the labours of one of them that have their liberty from them, whether minister or professor, but such ministers and professors shall be blasted, and their labours blasted and fruitless, and if their souls be not in hazard I am mistakenthis being the main point of our testimony, that Christ is Head of the Church and King in Zion, and this they deny on the matter. And if this be not sad and dangerous, judge ye, namely, to consent to let Christ's crown go upon the head of any king in the world. And this is the sin that shall yet ruin these three lands. No rank shall escape from the king to the beggar. Ministers and professors and all shall go with the judgment, for all have sinned. The most part have joined with sinful courses to shun suffering; but the Lord shall take these things and make them instruments and means to bring sad suffering on us, and then we shall suffer with an evil conscience in the midst of the storm that is coming ona storm, I fear, that shall be sadder than what I can speak of, or you think of at this time.
And, therefore, in the name of the Lord I charge you to lay these things to heart, and mourn all of you before the Lord for the grievous sins of all ranks, from the highest to the lowest, and labour to have a suitable impression of them upon your hearts before the Lord, for God will have many a sad question to lay home to your conscience that ye shall not be able to answer. For my part, I think happy are they who have their eyes closed and shall not see the evil that is coming on these nations. The Bible, the word of God, can scarcely give a parallel; nor can the generation before, nor at this day, give a parallel of our sins; and therefore lay these things to heart. The churches abroad are hissing at us this day, and therefore I leave these things upon you. The Lord bless them unto you; for I fear we shall all have to do with it before the storm go over that we shall certainly meet with in these lands.
"But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel."—Luke 24.21.
WHERE is the Church of God in Scotland at this day? It is not amongst the great clergy. I will tell you where the Church of God is. It is wherever a praying young man or young woman is at a dyke-side in Scotlandthere the Church is. A praying party will ruin them yet, Sirs. A praying party shall go through the storm. But many of you in this country-side know not these things. The weight of the broken Church of God in Scotland never troubles you. The loss of a cow, or two or three of your beasts, or an ill market day, goes nearer your hearts than all the troubles of the Church of God in Scotland. Well, then, thou poor creature that will resolve to follow Him, pray fast; for if there were but one of you, He will be the second; if there were but two of you, He will be the third. Ye need not fear that ye shall want companyour Lord will be your company Himself. He will be as condescending to you as ye please, yea, He will be so to you that resolve to follow Him in this stormy blast that is blowing upon His poor Church in Scotland at this day.
But there are some of you that are come here today, who, the next day, when ye cannot get a meeting of this kind, will run away to your hirelings again. Take heed, Sirs. Do not mock God. These indulged ministers will lead you away from Christ as well as the curate. Oh, the busy days' labours the devil is getting from many of the ministers in Scotland in our days! About thirty-six years ago, our Lord had a numerous train of ministers and professors in Scotland, but one blast blew six hundred of our ministers from Him at once, and they never returned back unto Him again. Yea, many lords, lairds, and ladies followed Him then, but the wind of the storm blew the ladies' gallantries in their eyes and ears both, and put them both deaf and blind, and they never saw to follow Christ since, nor to hear His pleasant voice. The lords, lairds, and ladies were all blown over the precipice. Alas, for the apostasy of nobles, gentlemen, ministers, and professors in Scotland! Scotland shall run in streams of blood; yea, many of the saints' blood shall be shed in it ere long. But yet the blood of the saints shall be the seed of a glorious Church in Scotland. O Sirs, what are ye doing in this countryside? Christ's followers in and through Clydesdale yonder have ventured sair for God, and have given a testimony. They burnt the test and the acts of the cursed parliament. There was a poor widow in that country-side, as I came through, that was worth many of you. She was asked how she did in this evil time? "I do very well," says she; "I get more good of one verse of the Bible now than I did of it lang syne. He hath cast me the keys of the pantry-door, and bidden me take my fill." Was not that a Christian, indeed? O Sirs, I would have ye take heed what ye are doing, when the blood of the saints is running so plentifully.
Now, the observation I would have you take home with you is this. O people of God, it is still the man or woman that God hath done saving good to that will follow Him in a storm. Ye know this Mary Magdalene, that is spoken of in this chapter, was one out of whom He had cast a legion of devils in a morning, and I trow she never forgat that good turn till she arrived in glory. Think ye not but it was a sore heart to her that morning when she missed Him and got an empty grave! Oh, what would ye have thought to have seen this poor woman running through the bands of soldiers? But that was not the thing that troubled herneither the Roman guard that was about the grave, nor the heavy stone that was upon its mouth, nor the charges under the pain of death that they should not touch the grave. No, no, Sirs, love to God goes beyond all that. He was her Lord and she could not think to want Him. The note that I would have you take home with you is this: If ye have gotten good of Jesus Christ, then ye would go through hell at the nearest to be at Him. They that have suffered for Christ in Scotland know this best today. They got a stormy rough sea indeed, but a choice and pleasant shore, and the Captain of their salvation there to welcome them heartily home. O Sirs, Christ had a number of noble worthies in Scotland not long ago, that set the trumpet to their mouth and gave fair warning in His name. He had a Welch, a Welwood, a Cameron, and a Cargilla noble party of them proclaiming His name in Scotland. If ye could be admitted to see and speak with them, they would tell you that it is nothing to suffer for Christ. They are now all shining so brightly in glory that they would frighten you were you to behold them, with these white robes and glorious crowns on their heads and palms in their hands. Follow fast, if He call you to suffer in His name. But what shall I say? The most part of you know nothing of this. Ye that are lying in black nature could not think to abide in heaven though ye were in it. No, ye would give a thousand worlds, if ye had them, to be out of it again.
Well, I'll tell you news: Happy are they who have got cleanly through the storm since the year fifty. Happy are they that have got through at Pentland, Bothwell, and Ayrsmoss. Happy are they that have died on scaffolds, gibbets, or on the seas. Oh, the blood of the saints will be the seed of the Church in after ages in Scotland! And I'll tell you more: Take heed what thoughts ye have of the sufferers. Look that ye have not the thoughts that they suffered wrong. Entertain not jealous or hard thoughts of the people of God, or of their case in their hard suffering. For their part they have got through the storm, and have passed through Jordan at the ebb-water, and are got well over; but, ye ministers and professors in Scotland, that are yet to go through the storm, as well as the profane party, ye shall get a stormy sea, and find Jordan's water increasing and hard to be got through.
But to come to the words, I trow, our Lord was glad, so to speak, to hear this discourse betwixt these two menHis disciples. Many ask the way that they know full well. Think not that our Lord was ignorant of this discourse before He came to them; no, but He asks to try their zeal. I trow, unbelief was very strong in them, as it is in many professors in Scotland at this day. We thought, said they, "that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel." I trow many in Scotland are beginning to question the work of reformation, and the covenant which we swore with uplifted hands, whether it was the work of God, yea or not. And the next thing ye will question is, whether or not the work of God be real in your own bosom. Take heed to your atheism, people of God. Your atheism and unbelief will do you an ill turn. They will put you to question the work of God in your own hearts, and that questioning will not be good company in a storm that ye are likely to meet with ere long in these lands. Well, Sirs, there is many a plough going this day in our Lord's acres in Scotland; but ere long He will loose some of them, and cut their cords and lay them by a while. "The Lord is righteous; he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked."
Now, what is it that has carried through the sufferers for Christ these twenty-two years in Scotland? "It is the fellowship of his sufferings." It is the filling up of Christ's sufferings in Scotland according to the ancient decree of heaven. For my part I seek no more, if He bids me go. He bade many, from 1660 to the year of the Pentland engagement, go forth to scaffolds and gibbets for Him, and they sought no more but His commission. They went, and He carried them well through. Then in 1666, at Pentland, He bade so many go to the fields and die for Him, and so many to scaffolds and lay down their lives for Him. They sought no more but His commission. They went, and He carried them well through. Again, 1679, at Bothwell, He bade many go to the fields and scaffolds and die for Him. They sought no more but His commission and went. And afterwards, in the year 1680, at Ayrsmoss, He bade so many go to the fields and scaffolds for Him. They sought no more but His commission and went. This cup of suffering hath come all the way down from Abel to this year, 1682, in Scotland. Our Lord hath held this cup to all the martyrs' heads, wherever He had a Church in the world, and it will go to all the lips of all the martyrs that are to suffer for Christ, even to the sounding of the last trumpet. But yet, people of God, it is but the brim that the saints taste of. But be ye patient in believing, for God shall make the wicked, His enemies and your persecutors in Scotland, wring out the bitter dregs of this cup to all eternity, and "to spue, and fall, and rise no more." Believe it, our Master will set up this cup, and close it, and swallow up time in eternity, and blow that great trumpet, and then heaven and earth shall all go into a red flame at once. O believers, long for that noble day; for it will put an end to all your sad and suffering days. I remember a passage of a great Emperor's life, when he went over seas to battle and saw the numerous multitudes of his enemies, their number being far superior unto his, he said to his General, "What shall we do? for their number is far greater than ours." The General answered, "We will fight under our enemies' colours, and vanquish them;" and so they did. So let the noble witnesses in Scotland that suffer for Christ fight valiantly and courageously under their persecutors' shadow, and so they shall vanquish them. Indeed our noble Captain of salvation, Jesus Christ, hath vanquished these bloody persecutors in Scotland these twenty-two years, more by the patient sufferings of the saints, and hath overcome and triumphed more gloriously over them, than if He had threshed them all down in a moment; yea, the patient suffering of the saints with their blood running declares His glory much abroad in the world, and especially in these lands. I remember as I came through the country, that there was a poor widow, whose husband fell at Bothwell. The bloody soldiers came to plunder her house, telling her they would take all she had: "We will leave thee nothing," said they, "either to put in thee, nor on thee." "I care not," said she, "I will not want as long as God is in the heavens." That was a believer indeed.
Now, for this Mary Magdalene that we spoke of before, what was she before Christ and she met? For as well as He loved her, we read in history that before Christ and she met, she was mistress to the captain of the castle at Jerusalem.
Now the note (doctrinally) that we would have you to observe is this, that for as bad as this woman was, ye may see that Christ sets His love on her, and would not want her. Now, ye see, she follows Him in a great storm. I would have you take this home with you; that free grace is no brooker of persons. Christ will not cast away the worst of you that are the saints, and that will follow Him in a storm. He hath done you as good a turn as He did to Mary Magdalene. Although ye have not been as really possessed of the devil as she was, yet ye have had some domineering idol, and grievous lust, that hath arisen within you, that hath sadly oppressed you, that He hath helped you to cast out and subdue.
But what think ye now of our great folk in Scotland at this timeour lords, lairds, and ladies? The storm soon beat them from Christ's back. I'll tell you what our great folk in Scotland are like. They are like so many ladies going to sea in a boat in a calm day for their pleasure, and as long as the sea is calm, and they see the land, and are in no fear of hazard, they bid the boatman row out; but whenever the wind begins to blow a little, and the wave begins a little to swell and rise, and they begin to lose sight of the land, then they cry out, "Make haste in to the shore again." So our great folk, both nobles, gentlemen, ministers, professors, and all ranks in Scotland, all followed our Lord at His back when the wind was fair; but whenever the storm began to blow in His face, all for the most part quitted His back, and made in for the next shore again. But persecuted people of God, if ye will but wait on a while patiently, God will be even with all these blades ere long. There are few Uriahs now in our days. Worthy Uriah would not sleep in his bed when the ark and people of God were in the open field. There are few so now in our days, and so will be seen of it ere all be done. I'll tell you, ease is never good for the Church and people of God, for they thrive still best under the saddest persecution. It hath been the experience of the Church and people of God in all ages. Worthy David did a bad turn one morning with his ease. It had been better for him that he had been in the fields all night. He not only committed adultery and murder that morning, but thought to have fathered his ill-begotten child upon worthy Uriah. One ill turn makes still way for another. And so it is with our great clergy folk this day, vile apostates as they are. I warrant it is the way of many of the great clergy folk, for all the evil turns that they do, they father them all upon the Bible, and make it still their warrant. The clergy and council do this, even when they condemn the saints of God and take their lives for owning the cause and covenants of Jesus Christ, and for owning the kingly government in Scotland, which these miserable apostates have taken from Him, and are consenting that it should be taken from Him in this day in these lands. I say, they will cast up the Bible in so doing, and say they have their warrant from itboth council, prelate, and indulged do sobut they deceive themselves, and mock the Lord in so doing, for which He shall be avenged on them ere long. But I'll tell you, Sirs, how they do with the Bible, even as a ship carpenter does with the great planks when they build a ship. They put them into the fire, and bow them to the use they intend them for. But do ye not so. But let the Bible stand registered as God hath placed it, and for your warrant see the last chapter of Revelation at the close:"He that addeth, or diminisheth." See what sentence the Spirit of God puts upon them. Oh that sad defection which the want of the right observation of these things hath occasioned in Scotland, since the sad storm began to blow upon the poor Church! Oh, the many vile hypocrites the Church of Scotland hath brought forth! They are vile bastards. They are now tearing their mother's flesh with their teeth and hands; and is not that unnatural-like? I trow, if any of us had our mother lying a-dying, it were unkind for us to run away and leave her. Were it not more kindly for us to stay and hold up her head when a-dying? But indeed our ministers and professors have not done so in Scotland. They have fled and left their dying mother. They have fled to other places for shelter, fled in under the indulgence, and fled unto other nations on a pretence to preach the Gospel. But the truth is, I am afraid that it be said by God at length, that it was for the back and belly that many of them hath done so, and to shun suffering for Christ; for which many of them shall smart ere all be done. There was work enough at home. They should have stayed at home with their dying mother. O secure England and Ireland! your day of vengeance hastens fast from the Lord.
Well, you that are the sufferers for Christ in Scotland, look what worthy David says. David had as much in the world of ease, honour, pleasure, yea, as any of them hath; and the Lord says, "I took you from keeping the ewes with young; I gave you pleasures, a throne, and a kingdom, and dominion, and what would ye have more?" "It is true," says David, "I have received all that. But all that is not my portion. I would not give a goat horn for it all in comparison of that noble satisfaction I shall have in the morning of the resurrection. 'I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness.'"
Come then, sufferers for Christ, ye shall have a beautiful encouragement in spite of them all. Cheer up your hearts with the faith of these things. The poor, believing, persecuted Church of Christ in Scotland is now a sick patient under Christ's hand. But blessed shall they be that shall be privileged to be sharers of the blessed reformation, that glorious reformation of the man-child which this sick travailing woman shall bring forth! Oh, we long to see these glorious days that shall be yet in thee, O Scotland! Once Scotland sent out her glory unto all the lands round about her; now she sits as a widow, and few to take her by the hand, but yet her husband will not forsake her, but will return again to Scotland; and He shall yet send out her glory unto all the lands round about, and that more gloriously than formerly it was.
But now, the next note that I would have you take home with you is this: a poor believer never gets a more beautiful blink of Jesus Christ, than when the cross lies heaviest between his shoulders; for suffering is the ready way to glory, and this is the experience of all the cloud of witnesses that have suffered for Christ, as they can testify. Therefore faint not in the way for all that bloody adversaries can do unto you.
And now, people of God in Scotland, there is another thing that I have to tell you, and it is this: I would have you to get preservatives, for ye walk in a pestilential air, and ye are nearer hazard than ye are aware of. If any of you were going through a city, where the plague were raging hotly, you would seek for something to put in your mouth and nose as a preservative to keep you from being infected with the contagion. So there will be need of this in Scotland, ere long. I know ye count me but a fool for saying these things, but I must tell you, in the name of the Lord who sent me unto you this day to tell you these things, that ere it be very long the living shall not be able to bury the dead in thee, O Scotland, and many a mile shall ye walk, or ride, and shall not see a farm house, but ruinous wastes for the quarrel of a broken covenant, and wrongs done to the Son of God in thee, O Scotland. The testimony of a good conscience will be a good feast in that day.
But now, people of God, the preservative I would have you get against that evil day is, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." And I trow, that will be a noble preservative. Now, people of God in Scotland, I have news to tell you; but it is only unto you that are the godly. If once He love you, He will never change you. But, wicked folk, break not your necks upon this. However, you that are the people of God, be not too forward on suffering, except ye be sure He call you to it. Says Peter, "Master, I will die for thee." Here Peter was too forward. "Stay," says Christ, "till once I bid thee." And I trow, Peter got the breadth of his back, so to speak, to learn him more wit in time to come.
Now the thing that I would have you here observe, is this: that nothing less than a fall will humble a presumptuous professor. Therefore be humble, all of you, before the Lord. The apostle says, "Beware, take heed," &c. So, I say, Beware, take heed. There are many little sloops going through Scotland. Take heed, people of God, that ye go not aboard them, for they will sink you. There are likewise many cross winds to blow you from Christ's shore; but if ye would wait patiently, persecuted people of God, the Lord is about to let loose a northern blast on these blades that will raise them off their creeks, and loose their plough that is ploughing deep in our Lord's acres in Scotland.
Now, these ministers that are fallen silent at this sinful blast of the sinful commands of these sinful magistrates, tell them, people of God, that they have consented fully to take Christ's crown from off His head, and set it upon the head of a profane man. Put them to it, either to own their ministry or renounce it, now when it is come to this push in Scotland. And now, Sirs, if any of you would abide by Jesus Christ in this storm, try how ye have covenanted with Him, and how ye have closed the bargain with Him, and upon what terms. But I trow there are many of you in this age that are like young wanton folk that run fast together and marry, but never take any account how they will keep house, but presently go to poverty and beggary. I trow, it falls out so with many of you that are professors in this generation. Ye take up your religion ye wot not how, and ye cannot give an account how ye came by it. I will tell you, Sirs, ye will abide no longer by Christ than till a storm blow, and then ye will quit Him, and deny His cause. Ye have need to take heed to this for it will ruin your souls in the end of the day.
But I shall tell you, Sirs, the right way of covenanting with God. It is when Christ and the believer meets. Our Lord gives him His laws, statutes, and commands; and He charges him not to quit a hoof of them; no, though he should be torn into a thousand pieces; and the right Covenanter says, "Amen." But many of you, people of God, like fools, would have your stock in your hand. But if ye held it, ye would soon squander it away, as our old father Adam did. Adam got the stock in his own hand, but he soon played it off. In a morning at two or three throws of the game, he lost all his posterity. But now our blessed second Adam hath our stock a-guiding, and He manages it better. He will give you but as ye need it, people of God, in fourpences, sixpences, and shillings; but if He bring any of you to a gibbet for Him, He will give you, as it were, dollars in your hands. Ye shall not need to fear. He will bear your charges to the full.
Now, ye in this country-side, ye will be all charged ere long to go and hear these cursed curates; and when ye are charged to go there, look into Gal. v. 19, 20. I say, look well to that Scripture, and think with yourselves, poor men and women of this countryside, that such a fool as I told you that going to hear those profane hirelings would take you to hell as soon as idolatry, adulteries, witchcraft, or any of these sins which are named in that place I have cited unto you. But now, persecuted people, scare not at the cross, for it is the way to the crown. Trouble and suffering have always been the lot of the saints, and began as soon as grace did. Abel first got the cross, and many have followed him since, and have obtained the crown.
And now, people of God, what are ye doing? The Pope and Papists at Rome are rejoicing and burning bonfires. They are rejoicing that Britain and Ireland are coming home again to their ancient Mother-Church, as they call themselves.2 What are ye doing, O people of God? Oh, for such a party as Esther and her maidens. That was a bloody decree, too, as there are many now in Scotland. Now people of God, beware of dipping with the wicked; for if ye do, it will be hard for you to retract again; for these cursed time-serving clergymen when once they join with the enemies, and run into defection with them, they are taught by the devil so many cursed shifts to defend their knavery, that conviction hardly can reach them, and so they go down, and many of them will go down to the pit in this age. Now, people of God in Scotland, what are ye doing? Oh, pray fast! but I will tell you, though ye pray none, yet the Church of Christ in Scotland shall be delivered. The groaning of the saints, the sighing of the prisoners, the innocent blood of His people, the cries of many widows and fatherless in Scotland will put Christ upon arising. The trampling of His glory, and the rending off His crown violently from His head will put Him upon arising. Oh, that there were a praying party now to wrestle with Him, and that old and young would deal with Him to arise! Oh, that He would give us such a proof of His love to us as He gave to His people in Egypt! Ye know He singled out Moses to send down to Egypt to deliver His Church. Moses had no will to go. No, says Moses, "I am not eloquent." Saith the Lord, "Go tell them, I AM hath sent me unto you." "Well," says Moses, "that will not do the turn: They will not believe me." Says the Lord to him again, "Tell them that by the name of God Almighty I appeared unto their fathers; but by my name JEHOVAH I was not made known to them." "That is a new name I have given you of Myself; and as I have given you that new name, which I never gave to any before, so tell my people in Egypt, that before they be delivered, I will do that which I never did since the creation of the world." Now, the word "Jehovah" in the original denotes both God's eternal being in Himself, and His giving all other things a being, and His giving a being to His own promise and threatenings: i.e., "I am what I am, and will be what I will be." But I know some of you have heavy thoughts here, doubting if this can be applicable to Scotland's case this day. Yea, Sirs, as the Lord lives, ere He have not Scotland delivered, He will work a miracle that He wrought not before, whoever lives to see it.
Now, Sirs, would ye know if ye be right sympathizers with the broken work of God in Scotland? Ye must try if it be your heavy thoughts when ye lie down, and when ye arise, and all the day long as ye go out and come in; if it be so, it is a good mark. Ye know, when Nehemiah was with the captives at Babylon, in twos and threes with sad and very heavy hearts for the desolations of the Church of God, this honest man got a grip of one or two of them in a morning, and when they told him of the desolation of Jerusalem, and of the places where their fathers praised God, and how the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and the gates thereof burnt with fire, and the remnant of the Lord's people in reproach and contempt and affliction, it put his pleasure far from him, and both meat and drink for a good while.
Now, Sirs, there was a great number that went out of Egypt with the Church. A mixed multitude followed to the Red Sea. Wherefore was it? It was because they had seen many miracles in Egypt. But they went not over Jordan; they fell in the wilderness, and died for their sins. Their hearts were not right with God, as is the case with many in this generation. I warrant you our Lord had a thick number of ministers and professors at His back in Scotland about thirty or forty years ago, when the day was fair; but when the storm began to blow, they became very few. The ministers left Him, and tied in to the Indulgence under the enemies' wings for shelter, and many professors followed them for ease and love to the back and the belly. But wait on, people of God, a little, and God shall rouse them up ere long. But I fear when God comes to call the roll of Scotland, He shall find many blanksdead ministers, dead professors, and dead men and women, though going upon their feet.
Now, Sirs, as I said to you before, if ye will follow Him in this stormy blast, be humble and much denied to your own thingsas for a proud professor, nothing less than a fall will do his turn. Take heed what ye are doing, for it is a strange time we live in; it is hard keeping touches with God, so to speak. Now, when He is, as it were, travelling up and down shires in Scotland, and saying to this man, and that woman, "Go seal my truths with your blood," He hath taken few out of Galloway or Carrick to a scaffold to witness for Him as yet. I think we should be counted with the rest of the kingdom, and yet ye know not what is coming. I pray you, if He come to seek a testimony from any of you, deny Him not; for He denied none of you that are elect, when ye were between the losing and the winning.
And now, Sirs, I leave these truths on all of you. I dare not for my very soul flatter yon, not knowing how soon ye and I may be cited before the tribunal of God. I charge you to join with none of these time-serving hireling ministers, nor with that cursed supremacy they stand upon, for it will ruin them. And now, I pray yon take heed when there are so many errors going through the land. Wrestle with God to keep you straight and steadfast in your judgment and in your hearts, adhering to the covenanted work of reformation. And as for these indulged ministers, although they preach some truths, yet the Spirit of the Lord follows not what they preach to bless it; for what they speak from the word is not seasonable, for leaving truths are denying times, such as these are wherein our lot is fallen.
And now, people of God, I have this to tell you, and so I leave you, that there are yet as glorious days coming to Scotland as ever were. And the children of the persecuted captivity shall be the beginning of a glorious Church yet in Scotland, and shall be so zealous for the reproached truths of God that they shall be ready, if they meet these ministers that betrayed God's work, I say they shall be ready to stone them; and that shall be made out, "They shall not wear a rough garment to deceive any more," as they have now done in Scotland, and in all these lands. And now, the Lord Himself bless these things unto you, and make you steadfast, that ye be not led away with the apostasy of the times, and of these time-serving ministers, that Demas-like have forsaken the way of the Lord. The Lord Himself make you consider these things, and fix a conviction of them upon your hearts that ye may be watchful and steadfast unto the day of His coming.
Now unto the Lord who is able to keep you from falling, be everlasting praise. Amen.
1. This preface and two sermons were published a good while ago, under the title of "The Lord's Trumpet sounding an Alarm against Scotland, by warning of a Bloody Sword," and reprinted 1739.
2. How applicable is this unto our present circumstances in these nations! Witness the Quebec Act establishing Popery in Canada. Witness the Roman Catholic Bills now tolerating Papists both in England and Irelandin the last of which Protestant subjects are denied the same liberty which Papists enjoy. In Scotland our Popish nobility must needs go to Newcastle, and take the oath in form to the Government, and then no man may disturb them. And how soon Scotland, as a nation, may receive the mark of the Beast more fully in her forehead and right hand, God only knows. But let us with the royal Psalmist both supplicate and sing:
"All that serve graven images,
Confounded let them be."
Bio Note. Chapter 5 of Robert Simpson's "Traditions of the Covenanters" contains further details about the extremely interesting life of Mr. Peden.